Friday, January 20, 2006

Culture

Intolerant leftists attack Minuteman founder (October 7, 2006)

Fascism is an epithet flung around far too irresponsibly and inaccurately. But if not fascists, far-left socialists continue to employ fascistic tactics on a regular basis. Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist and co-author of the Swift Boat Veterans book Jerome Corsi were run off stage by militant Hispanics and other leftists during a speaking engagement at Colombia University.

This simply doesn't happen on the right in contemporary America. Gilchrist and Corsi were invited to speak at an engagement of voluntary attendance, put on by the university's Young Republicans. The closest those somewhere on the right come to advocating the silencing of those with whom they disagree is in the attempted removal of instructors pushing an overtly political agenda in the classroom without student alternative. The lack of probity is disturbing. Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Bill Kristol, and even Arnold Schwarzenneger have all been targets of similar viciousness in the political arena over the past year. A slightly more sophisticated silencing takes place in the realm of human biodiversity, a la Lawrence Summers.

Randall Parker pulls an indellible quote from one of the hoodlums:
"We were aware that there was going to be a sign and we were going to occupy the stage," said a protestor who was on stage and asked to remain anonymous. "I don't feel like we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. ... The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration."
That sort of Orwellian-speak is worthy of the same recognition given to a statement made earlier by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson:
"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence."

The protestor's 'logic' is empty. Free speech is allowed, so long as it is appropriate speech. The appropriateness is to be determined by the protestor. So it's open season on anyone he disagrees with; a solipsist's dream and a free society's nightmare.

As the US becomes increasingly heterogenuous, we can expect more ruckus antipodal to intelligent debate. As groups like La Raza grow in prominence, calls for demands to be met will be made with increasing pretension. People will be moved to choose sides based on demographics rather than merit. Restricted though it may be, free speech still flourishes with the most vitality in the US. As the middle class white majority slides into minority status, our republic will become a spoils system, with pols indiscreetly targeting the specific ethnic group they represent at the expense of the balkanized whole. In the words of Lee Kwan Yew:
In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.

We see the sprinkles ahead of the storm at Colombia and in the streets of Los Angeles. If enough pressure is applied, the storm might yet be averted. Don't let the Senate off the hook for watering down the 700-mile fence bill.


Diversity is more better (August 23, 2006)

While the US may represent the educational doldroms of the developed world, at least our textbooks are the most ethnically and culturally progressive:

To facilitate state approval and school-district purchasing of their texts, publishers set numerical targets for showing minorities and the disabled. In recent years, the quest to meet these targets has ratcheted to a higher level as technological improvements enable publishers to customize books for individual states, and as photos and illustrations take up more textbook space.

Although publishers describe these numbers as guidelines, many people familiar with educational publishing say they are strict quotas that must be adhered to. Moreover, in filling these quotas, publishers screen out a wide range of images they deem stereotypical, from Asian math students to barefoot African children.
So progressive, in fact, that we leave reality in the dust. Let the scamps in India and China waste their time studying the real world with all its inegalitarian nonsense. We'll convey to our children a world that transcends such ugliness. Nevermind the fact that Asian American students average the highest score of any racial group on the NAEP math tests, a few points higher even than their white neighbors, who are too busy keeping down the brown and black man to subjugate the Oriental effectively. Nevermind that the African poverty rate, at 44%, is significantly higher than that of any other continent in the world. The most important thing we can impute to our children is a vision of the world as it should be, irrespective of reality.

Urban giants largely set the standards for the rest of the country, as they have the greatest bulk buying power. Textbook publishers set quotas to insure sales to these school districts:
Under McGraw-Hill Co. guidelines for elementary and high school texts, 40% of people depicted should be white, 30% Hispanic, 20% African-American, 7% Asian and 3% Native American, says Thomas Stanton, a spokesman for the publisher. Of the total, 5% should be disabled, and 5% over the age of 55. Elementary texts from the Harcourt Education unit of Reed Elsevier PLC should show about 50% whites, 22% African-Americans, 20% Hispanics, 5% Asians and 5% Native Americans.
So McGraw represents blacks at 155% of reality, Hispanics at 243%, Native Americans at 341%, and Asians at about 150%. All this made possible by the shafting of non-Hispanic whites, who are shown at a rate of 59% of reality. Although no official religious quotas exist, textbook companies strive to represent all faiths as equally as possible. That is, numerical parity, not proportional representation mirroring reality. Your kids' textbooks are showing them as many Buddhists (about one-third of one percent of Americans) as Christians (about 85% of Americans). Still, it is clear that Mahayana believers are being maliciously underserved. You can bet McGraw will be hearing from me.

Of course, the same argument can be made for McGraw that is made for the megabanks, megaretailers, and politicians that increasingly cater to Hispanics--they are anticipating the future demographic composition of America. Nationally, the average citizen suffers from increased crime and disease, lower educational attainment, greater wealth disparities, more tax revenue diverted to providing goods and services to the destitute, higher poverty rates, cultural balkinzation, and so on, but for the individual entities the benefit is in tapping into this market. McGraw's textbooks are provided for school kids, where whites represent less than 60% of the population. For children under five, they represent about half. McGraw is positioning itself for the future.

So much for assimilation:
"It's a real benefit for minority children to be able to see their own ethnicity in a position of responsibility or in a historical perspective," says Cheryl McConaughey, assistant superintendent for Lamont school district in California, which is 92% Hispanic. "I remember the delight with which my seventh-grade students encountered pictures of Roberto Clemente and César Chávez in their textbooks." Ms. McConaughey says percentage targets for minority images "are
needed to assure diversity. If we don't quantify them, they get lost."
I suspect her memories are bunk, as my recollection of my junior high days is fresh enough to inform me that seventh graders rarely experience delight from pictures in textbooks. Poor Hispanic students (96% of Lamont students are at or below the poverty line) are even less likely to become elated by classroom material. But I do remember my excitement when I learned that Nathaneal Greene and Henry Knox were both autodidacts and that this played a major part in forming their strong friendship. Problem is, I learned that this week while reading on my own. Nevermind the daring Knox displayed that allowed for the colonists to take the Dorchester Heights. In thirteen years of k-12 public education I never studied a single US military battle. How sick is it that I know more about Harriet Tubman and Dred Scott than John Adams or John Jay?

Graphics that might actually pull students away from their IPods for a moment are deemed too 'offensive' to print:
In its 2005 adoption of history and social science texts, for instance, California required compact disc publisher Decision Development Corp. to revise or delete "stereotypical and demeaning" caricatures in magazines submitted as supplementary material. One drawing it found offensive illustrated the 18th
century European rivalry for the Indian subcontinent by depicting an Indian in a loincloth and turban tugged in opposite directions by arms wearing the English and French flags.
I'm reminded of my favorite Simpsons episode where Principal Skinners orders Groundskeeper Willie to remove all colored chalk from the classrooms in response to two separate independent thoughts by students on the same day that gave the teachers great alarm. The words of Soren Kierkegaard also come to mind: "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

Note the consequences multiculturalism wreaks on those who exercise free thought. Theo Van Gogh was murdered for it. Denmark was boycotted and European embassies in the Middle East were burned for it. Professor Andrew Fraser was suspended for it. George Allen's presidential aspirations have been seriously damaged because of it. Paul Brelien, editor of the courageous Brussels Journal, was forced to remove an op/ed because the piece called for the legalization of self-defense items after a Belgian teenager was murdered by two central Asians. Lawrence Summers was excoriated and eventually fled from Harvard because of it. Perspicacious geniuses must produce anonymously in fear of it. Arthur Brooks gets global recognition for an idea that was filched from Steve Sailer (Brooks called it the "Fertility Gap", Steve called it the "Baby Gap") because of it. Brooks made the WSJ op/ed pages because he left immigration and race out of the equation, even though by doing so he diluted the explanatory power of fertility and inanely predicted that California will swing to the right in the coming years. The list goes on and on.

McGraw, in the business of making money, not of deciphering reality, has taken measures to prevent itself from falling into the bottomless pit that is free thought:
To forestall such trouble, McGraw-Hill's 2004 guidelines for artwork and photos say Asians should not be portrayed "with glasses, bowl-shaped haircuts, or as intellectuals"; African-Americans should be shown "in positions of power, not just in service industries"; elderly people should be "active members of society," not "infirm"; and disabled people should be shown as independent rather than receiving help.
Orwellian. Because Asians are smart, they must not be portrayed as intelligent. Because blacks have little power in the corporate world, they must be portrayed as having lots of it. I'll add a few more: Because interracial crime in the US overwhelmingly involves a black perpetrator and a white victim, whites must be portrayed as perpetrators and blacks as victims. Because Hispanic immigrants are overrepresented in certain service industries like landscaping and meat packing, they mustn't be portrayed as landscapers or meat packers. Because African Americans dominate the sports world, they must be portrayed as unathletic dweebs.

Further, it is not who people are that matters, but who they appear to be in the eyes of others:
Marjorie Cotera, studio manager for Texas photographer Robert Daemmrich, who
takes photos for textbooks, says "facial features" of some Asians resemble Native Indian [with epicanthic eyefolds and other similar features from a shared lineage] tribes from Mexico. "There are some times where you can flip-flop." On the other hand, Ms. Cotera says, blond and blue-eyed Hispanics "might not work" toward that group's quota because their background would not be apparent to readers.
What messages does this send to American children? Why do we subject our future to this garbage?

Historian David McCullough describes an obscure eighteenth century British rebel thus: "Seeing things as they were, and not as he would wish them to be, was one of [Washington's] greatest strengths."

Who was this George Washington? Didn't he work for Bessie Coleman?


Multicult success in Britain (July 27, 2006)

Brits get to experience the joys of expanding their cultural horizons:

Ali is one of an estimated 3 million women and girls who suffer female genital mutilation (FGM) each year.

The practice, also known as female circumcision, involves removing part or all of a girl's clitoris or labia. It is often carried out by an older woman with no medical training, using anything from scissors to tin can lids and pieces of glass. ...

The centuries-old practice, prevalent mostly in Africa, is now also being brought by immigrants to Western countries, like Britain.

"FGM is a huge problem in the UK," said Ensharah Ahmed, community development officer at the UK-based Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development
(Forward).

Forward estimates there are around 279,500 women living in Britain who have undergone FGM, with another 22,000 girls under 16 in danger of joining them.
The Occident is more favorably disposed to women's rights than the rest of the world. Women's advocacy groups should devote energy to preserving Western cultural norms. The easiest way to do so is to restrict immigration from places where cultural values are antithetical to those in the West. Include questions pertaining to cultural beliefs as part of an immigration application based on other merit-based attributes like years of schooling, IQ, means, occupation, age, health, etc.

The very stance such women's groups hold on the putatively natural rights of women are culturally conditioned:
Muslim women do not think they are conditioned to accept second-class status or view themselves as oppressed, according to a survey released Tuesday by The Gallup Organization. ...

When asked what they resented most about their own societies, a majority of Muslim women polled said that a lack of unity among Muslim nations, violent extremism, and political and economic corruption were their main concerns. The hijab, or head scarf, and burqa, the garment covering face and body, seen by some Westerners as tools of oppression, were never mentioned in the women's answers to the open-ended questions, the poll analysts said.
Multiculturalism is essentially the forfeiting of one's own values (and the value judgments that necessarily accompany them) and allowing other cultural values fill the vacuum. For it to be attractive, one's own cultural values must be perceived as lacking or inferior. What, then, is it about Western culture that is detestable enough to justify accepting the deviancy of foreign cultural values? That mutilating the genitals of seven year-old girls is unacceptable?

Cultural progressives need to realize that multiculturalism undermines their ultimate goals. Hispanics and Muslims are not going to tip the balances in favor of same-sex marriage or abortion-on-demand.


Team Mexico! (July 07, 2006)

What World Cup match drew the greatest number of tv viewers in the US thus far (prior to the quarter-finals)? A game involving England's conservative boy-toy David Beckham, who would later be brought to tears? The trials of the putatively invincible Brazilians? A game the US team was part of?

Nope. Try Argentina against Mexico. Since none of the networks want much to do with soccer (yet), the Catholic Church should team up with MLS. On the political side, the new bedfellows can push for open borders. On the operational side, they can yank the elucidating Dave O'Brien and replace him with a taciturn Scot who will let the game drone on with minimal commentary, close-ups, or cut shots.

Or maybe the play-by-play will need to speak fluent Spanish. Just like traditional Mass, people outside soccer's core won't know what's going on!


The World what? (June 23, 2006)

As a strident nationalist, I'm happy with the US' dismal performance in the World Cup. No annoying celebratory images being circulated all over the media, no mawkish SI articles, no enthusiastic predictions of soccer's ascent in the states, none of that. Happily give Ghana the glory--they want it and we do not.

Why don't we want it? Soccer is simply too drab for 21st Century America.

The game doesn't lend itself to copious stat keeping. Games played? Goals? Assists? What else is there to keep track of? When goals are all you have to go on, and the top scorer in MLS puts in a whopping 17 goals for the entire season, the idea of a Fantasy Soccer League seems pretty lame. Player comparisons are grossly qualitative, so the market for analysis is much less dynamic and sophisticated than for MLB or the NFL.

SportsCenter highlights include the two goals Ghana scores and the single goal the US put in. That's about it. The other eighty-nine minutes and thirty seconds are soporific. Leave the tube for half an hour and most of the time you've missed absolutely nothing. The ball's still rolling around somewhere near midfield, and the score's still knotted at goose eggs.

Climatic momentum shifts are only perceivable when goals are scored. There are no big turnovers or fourth down conversions. Possession switches constantly, but unlike basketball, nothing ever comes of it. And the endless stretches of Kent Brockman moaning "Halfback passes to the center. Back to the wing. Back to the center. Center holds it. Holds it (rolls eyes). Holds it ..." are, on average, interrupted by goals less than three times per game.

If you're a checkered-ball booster, however, be patient. The winds are blowing in your direction. The 2006 World Cup will help prolong soccer's diminutive status in the US, although immigration trends continue to steadily bolster its prescence here:
The US focuses on advertising globally since the World Cup typically evokes little excitement domestically, according to ICOM. Only one market segment in the United States veers drastically from that trend—the Hispanic community.

Six Latin American teams have spots in the tournament this year (Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Paraguay, Costa Rica, and Mexico), as does Spain. The World Cup brings out an intense following and huge fan base among 42 million Hispanics in the United States. Ironically, four out of the six Spanish-speaking World Cup countries have fewer people than that.
I'll have to start including the dilution of good sport in my litany of complaints against our immigration inanity.


Multiculturalism amok in Michigan (May 26, 2006)

The move within the Michigan Department of Education to divorce the synonymity of the terms "American" and "US citizen" has apparently been snuffed out by Michigan's Superintendent of Public Instruction:
The Michigan Department of Education is not taking the word "America" or "American" out of the classrooms of Michigan ("Keep 'America' in Michigan schools," May 24, by Michael Warren). No such edict has gone out, or will go out, to school teachers across Michigan.

We are not seeking to do away with the terms "America" or "American" from classroom instruction. It's not going to happen. I consider myself an American. We live in the United States of America. We are citizens of the United States of America. But the vernacular is that we're Americans.
A decade ago, the words "America" and "American" were removed from the MEAP (Michigan's state assessment testing similar to the NAEP on the national level). They were expunged due to ethnocentric undertones and the exclusionary effect they had on Latin American and Canadian students. All are North Americans, yada yada. This is the standard politically correct nonsense that has become endemic in America's (!) governmental public school system. It's an annoying aspect of current demographic trends, although it is not in the class of the most cogent arguments against the largescale importation of Hispanic and South Asian underclasses.

What is interesting, though, is how the propositionalists polemicize against the removal of terms central to the history of the United States ("The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America...") by appealing to seemingly universalistic Creedal values that in actuality are threatened by their own universal application:
After all, America isn't just a name, it's a philosophy. It represents a set of ideas -- such as freedom, free enterprise and checks and balances on government -- that have been instrumental in improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people. That's why it's called the American dream and the American way of life.

We've had a terrible time trying to install these ideas across the world, especially in the Middle East. And for the last forty years with an immigration system in place that pulls from outside Europe, we're slowly coming to realize how these ideas do not even have ecumenical appeal--or feasibility--within our own porous borders. Freedom entails not only the freedom of action, but also the freedom from the aggression of others (be it physical, cultural, psychological, economic, or whatever).

A multicultural society is, true to it's very definition, marked by disparity: Economic, cultural, intellectual, social, and on. Virtually all groups (with "guilty" whites as a glaring exception), be they defined by race or ethnicity, geographical location, political ideology, economics, culture, or social status, have a desire to propogate their beliefs and mold society in a way presumed to be most ideal. More groups mean less cohesion. As groups struggle against one another, they inherently become more partisan. An "us against them" mentality develops, and progress beneficial to society at large is hindered. An optimal society is a naturally egalitarian one--inegalitarianism or worse, forced egalitarianism, are unstable and tenuous.

Moving beyond the theoretical, the actual composition of the new groups makes the situation even worse. The demographic shift isn't being fueled by the entry of Ashkenazism and East Asians. Hispanics are, as a group, less successful than whites by almost every measure--they make less, use more welfare, are more likely to commit crimes and end up in jail, have lower IQs and educational attainment, higher unemployment, lower levels of wealth accumulation, etc. Of course they are going to be resentful. Short of perpetual wealth redistribution, genetic engineering, or the instituting of a merit immigration system coupled with deportation, this is always going to be the case.

But one measure where they are winning, and winning big, is in the arena of numerical growth (eleven times faster than whites). La Raza and Mecha are getting stronger. They are going to push for things harmful to the (shrinking) white majority (as well as to Asians). They are going to vie with blacks for the right to permanent handouts, and both will push for more affirmative action. They'll favor more wealth redistribution, not less. They'll support bigger government to make it happen. They'll see free enterprise as the tool of the exploitative gringo and back authoritarian pols trying to kill it (all these things are happening in South America right now).

Why do our leaders insist upon assaulting these uniquely American ideas through the destruction of a European middle class majority that has allowed these same ideas to thrive?


Jews stuck in a fiction-absolute? (May 16, 2006)

The immigration reform movement, having undergone rigorous intellectual development, still lacks an eloquent, alacritous, high-profile public mouthpiece. The leading voices in the House and Senate, Tancredo and Sessions, both come across kindly but are not articulate or telegenic enough to steal the debate and imprint themselves in the American psyche (JD Hayworth comes closest). Even with sustained public opposition to more immigration (legal and illegal), a sovereignty champion impervious to being pigeon-holed as a "nativist" from a "small but vocal" extremist group isn't forthcoming.

Being business-school educated, I have to predict that one is going to emerge soon, perhaps in the '06 election cycle if the House continues to stand firm. The market demands it. The person need not be a pol, but his profile will have to expand beyond that of an activist, and certainly it would be beneficial in the realm of public opinion if the leader had strong personal claim to understanding immigration.

Where are the Jews? The quintessential immigrant group, notoriously well-spoken, and... frustratingly open-bordered. From this Gentile's perspective, the Jewish proclivity for open borders is an illustration of Tom Wolfe's fiction-absolute in action (hear him interviewed here):
The human beast's belief in his own fiction-absolute accounts for one of the most puzzling and in many cases irrational phenomena of our time. I first noticed it when I read a book by Samuel Lubell called The Future of American Politics. Lubell was a political scientist and sociologist who had been as surprised as everybody else by the outcome of the 1948 presidential election. That was the election in which the Democratic incumbent, Harry Truman, was a president whose approval rating had fallen as low as 23 percent. Every survey, every poll, every pundit's prediction foresaw him buried by the Republican nominee, Thomas E. Dewey.

Instead, Truman triumphed in one of the most startling upsets in American political history. Lubell was determined to find out why, and so he set out across the country. When he reached a small Midwestern town that had been founded before the turn of the 19th century by Germans, he was puzzled to learn that the town had gone solidly for Dewey despite the fact that by every rational turn of logic, every economic motivation, Truman would have been a more logical choice.

By and by Lubell discovered that the town was still predominantly German. Nobody had ever gotten over the fact that in 1917, a Democrat, President Woodrow Wilson, had declared war on Germany. That had set off a wave of anti-German feeling, anti-German prejudice, and, in the eyes of the people of this town, besmirched their honor as people of German descent. And now, two World Wars later, their minds were fixed on the year 1917, because like all other human beasts, they tended to champion in an irrational way their own set of values, their own fiction absolute.

Historically, immigration restriction and nationalism have been bad for Jews. From Chrysostom's homilies to Augustine's wandering example to Luther's corrupting hostiles to the world's resisting of refugees in WWII to the hostility the state of Israeli--Jewish nationalization and sovereignty--breeds, such ideas haven't been particularly propitious.

But today a nationalistic, sovereign US is good for American Jews. According to the ADL, 44% of first generation Hispanics hold "hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs", compared to just 12% of whites. The growth of Islam among the black underclass will continue as unskilled immigration continues to harm black's prospects. As immigration keeps squeezing the middle class and augmenting the wealth gap, affluent Jews (along with their natural allies--indistinguishable wealthy whites) will become increasingly salient targets for robin hood policies. White Protestants are a bulwark of American support for Israel. Proportionally shrinking them will correspondingly shift US public opinion against Israel.

Yet Jewish media types are overwhelmingly in favor of self-immolation by immigration (John Podhoretz, Tamar Jacoby, Al Franken, Bill Kristol, just to name a few). And those on the restrictionist side hide the fact that they are Jewish. Talkshow host Michael Savage, for example, is perhaps the most wide-reaching paleoconservative voice today (coining the phrase "Borders, Language, Culture"), but who knew he was Jewish? He plays himself off as a theist with Christian tendencies.

The danger for nationalistic American Jews lies in Jewish success. Struggling groups are expected and encouraged to coalesce into ethnic/racial blocs that compensate for individual disadvantages. Powerful groups are not--when they do, they become irrational racists, suggested even to be ethnic cleansers (see Spielberg's portrayal of the tough Israeli hitman in Munich as a South African (apartheid!), blonde-hair blue-eyed (Arayan!) Jew). Calling Al Sharpton a racist is to attack a black leader and thereby commit an act of racism. To attack David Duke, however, is to attack racism.

The way for Jews to circumvent this seemingly inexorable charge of racism is to adopt an ostensibly non-racial/ethnic nationalism. The citizenism tent has room for Americans across the cultural and economic spectrum who are hurt by unskilled immigration (the depression of wages, economic and educational disparity, communication barriers, increased crime, unaffordable housing, strain on the welfare system, pollution, ad infinitum effects almost everyone in one way or another).


The Crucible in Durham (April 11, 2006)

Forget Arthur Miller's Crucible book controversy--we have the real thing:

Results of DNA tests released Monday do not link members of Duke University's lacrosse team to an exotic dancer who reported she was sexually assaulted by three players at an alcohol-fueled party last month.
Supposedly she was gang-raped, choked, and sodomized. Yet no semen, saliva, or even hair remained on the courtesan. The accuser's story has been inconsistent, her past checkered:

Meanwhile, a second dancer's statements cast further doubts on the woman's claims...

In 2002, she was working at a topless club in Durham, when she stole a cab driver's car keys while giving him a lap dance, according to a police report. When the driver went to the bathroom, she drove off in the cab and led police on a lengthy car chase. In the process, she smashed into a patrol car and attempted to drive through a fence, but was eventually arrested after her car got a flat tire. She tested at 0.19, more than twice the alcohol limit.

My prediction: Our Betty got inebriated and played catatonic out of fear of consequences that might arise. The DA, who is up for reelection against two more qualified candidates. That is, Nafing, who is a white man, is running against a harpy of a woman and a black man. Durham is 44% black. The opportunity to burn a gang of white yuppies at the stake on behalf of a black single-mother was a godsend. Tom Wolfe wins again.

The fatal flaw was that it all happened too quickly. The severity of the charge would have been sufficient for the Nafing to get reelected in May. But the credulous media made the story page one in its indefatigable search to prove white male oppression.

Unlike Miller's tale, this one is true.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 18 2006)

Last month the Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a series of speechs in South Africa. Like many dissenters, she used America's position as the global market-dominant minority to lash out ideologically against those at home. Reading the text of her speech is an interesting case study of the thinking of one of the world's most powerful people. What struck me most was how I could have as easily been reading the words of a collegiate radical campus group leader:
Unlike South Africa's Constitution, a model fundamental instrument of government for a nation starting afresh, the U.S. Constitution is nearly 220 years old and contains no express provision opposing discrimination on the basis of gender.
Ginsburg ruled with the court (5-4) in Roper v. Simmons, citing international laws regarding capital punishment to as part of the justification for deeming the execution of minors illegal. She is not opposed to searching for a legal reason to impose a moral mandate. For a moralist or a philosopher, it's a noble pursuit. But the Supreme Court is to be based on the US Constitution, not a universal morality set that is discerned by enlightened jurists. Ironically though, she is not universal in her application of international law to domestic issues. Ginsburg is the most ardent defender of Roe v. Wade on the court. Yet, along with China, the US has the most liberal policy towards abortion in the world:
When other countries authorized abortions, they did not authorize a right to one. Their laws were designed to give varying degrees of respect to unborn life. (Only in China is there a law as permissive as that conferred by Roe v. Wade.) When Prof. Mary Ann Glendon surveyed abortion laws here and abroad in the late 1980s, she found that in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. there existed pre-abortion waiting periods, mandatory counseling, time limits of when during a pregnancy an abortion could occur, and a requirement that several physicians agree on the need for an abortion.
So when the recent South Dakota legislation makes its way to the US Supreme Court, can we expect Ginsburg to turn to international law on behalf of the Dakotians? It goads me when leftists claim to see everything in gradations. Those zealously committed to ideologies on the left are every bit as absolutist in their beliefs as those on the ideological (religious) right are. Ginsburg does not want to turn to international law when it does not align itself with her own morality.

Reminiscing over her crusades as counsel to the ACLU, Ginsburg let her feminism brightly shine through:
In one sense, our mission in the 1970s was easy: the targets were well defined. There was nothing subtle about the way things were. Statute books in the States
and Nation were riddled with what we then called sex-based differentials.
Those would presumably be things like gender-segregated prisons, which she has advocated in the past. I suspect the recidivism rate for males would jump if she had her way, although females might become more law-abiding. Happily, boys with purty teeth would be in good shape!

Ginsburg, like other practitioners of the egalitarian orthodoxy, is completely oblivious to (or, more likely, simply ignores) human biodiversity. Men and women are very different in more ways than we can count, and it's grounded in our evolutionary history. Men have wider intelligence distributions, are most spatially-oriented than women, and have more gray brain matter. Women's IQ distributions are narrower, they are more verbally-oriented, and have more white brain matter. Men are more competitive and autocratic (that's why men's sports are so much more entertaining to watch and why men are responsible for virtually all of the world's wars). Women have lower muscle mass and higher levels of body fat. And on and on.

Ginsburg's not alone. A majority of the court has its head buried in the sand. In a 5-4 decision last year, they ruled racially segregated prisons unconstitutional. Writing for the majority, the now-retired Justice O'Connor wrote that "society as a whole" suffers when prisoners are seperated by race. Are these justices so pedantic that they are unaware of the fact that in race is everything in prison? But enligthened jurists like Ginsburg know better than the warden and the prison guards when it comes to running a prison!

Does Ginsburg really want to ignore this? Does she want to close the door on women in the military? Obviously if female PT requirements were the same as male requirements, it would happen. If she is worried about gender inequality, I suspect she will stand up for Matt Dubay if his case makes it all the way to the US Supreme Court. Reproductive rights in this country overwhelmingly favor women. If a woman has an unwanted pregnancy, the father has no legal right to keep her from aborting his child. Conversely, if the man wants to abort the fetus but the woman wants to have it, he is powerless to stop her. And then he will have to pay child support for eighteen years to help the kid (and the mother) out financially. I'll be expecting a tenacious stand by Ginsburg on this in the future!

A good look into her didacticism:
Our mission was to educate, along with the public, decisionmakers in the Nation's legislatures and courts. We tried to convey to them that something was wrong with their perception of the world. As Justice Brennan wrote in a 1973 Supreme Court plurality opinion, Frontiero v. Richardson, decided a year and a half after the Court had begun to listen: "Traditionally, [differential treatment on the basis of sex] was rationalized by an attitude of 'romantic paternalism' which, in practical effect put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage."

And she still thinks she's educating us today, by destroying any semblance of our understanding of human biodiversity. "The maternal instinct is oppressive! Respecting women who have children as fulfilling their duty is oppressive! Yes, we love evolution in as far as it bashes those pesky Christian fundamentalists, but believe that it actually applies to humans?! That's nuts!" Well, she can revel in the legacy of her sixties counterrevolution--a peaking of the high school graduation rate, a bottoming out of the poverty rate, skyrocketing divorce and illegitimacy rates, and a plummetting birth rate that now leaves every Occidental nation as well as Russia and Japan below replenishment. But at least we got Sex and the City out of it all.


Paradise Lost? (January 20 2006)

Hopefully John Milton is too engrossed in the paradise he speculated about four and a half centuries ago to take notice of this:
Paradise Now won the Best Foreign Language Flm category in today's 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards. The film was directed by Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad from a screenplay he cowrote with Bero Beyer, the film's Dutch producer, both of whom ascended to the podium to collect the award. Paradise Now chronicles the 48 hours before two best friends in Nablus are sent on a suicide mission to Israel. The New York Times said it “accomplishes the tricky feat of humanising the suicide bombers depicted in the film”. The paper dubbed the film "a taut, ingeniously calculated thriller".
The cries that Western military incursions into the Middle East and Central Asia have created more terrorists than they've killed are relentless. And they may be true. It's tough to gauge. A new Manhattan Project to create viable alternative energy sources with the goal of weaning ourselves of foreign oil would be a better investment than the trillion or so that will ultimately be poured into Iraq. Petroleum comrpises 90% of Saudi Arabia's exports--obselesce oil and we send the Islamic world back into the seventh century where it no longer has the means to blow up our buildings and citizenry. Energy is inextricably related to national security, because so much of oil revenue ends up in the hands of terror groups.

But the humanization of Palestinian suicide bombers is easier to reach a conclusion on. It's certainly creating more terrorists than it's destroying.

Seventy percent of Americans believe that Hollywood is out of touch with the American mainstream and does not share its values, while a diminutive 13% believe Tinsel Town does. I do not watch movies at the theater or otherwise, so firsthand opinion isn't something I can provide. But awarding films that sypathize with murderers from one of the most vile and failed populations on the planet--the Palestinians--in tandem with excessive adulation over films reducing the rough-riding, frontier-taming eidolons of the West to insecure effetes nauseatingly light in the loafers, topped of by tales of transvestites (I wonder what the jihadists think about these themes!) makes it clear why so much of the American public reviles the US film industry.

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